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December256 With Dave Haygarth

A mid-term break from Cyclocross for a different type of challenge.

It's a strange one for me as a self-confessed cyclocross addict, but I'm taking almost the whole month of December away from competing. A classic month in this sport, it'll be strange to step back a bit. Things like the regional championships are always great to ride, plus... it's the muddiest, most cyclocross time of the cyclocross season.

But my highest aim of the 2016-17 season has been to repeat my win in the North West Cyclocross Association league. The veteran league is the largest in the country - with some 212 members and races peaking at 181 in one of the events. I'm really chuffed to say that after 9 of the 11 rounds, I've worked out the stats and have secured my second win in two years for Carnac / Planet X, and with two races remaining, I can step back a bit. Because something else has come along for December. Something outside of my comfort zone. And despite the sheer nastiness of cyclocross, it's been a while since I've been outside of my comfort zone, and I need a different challenge to wake me up a bit mid-season.

Every day in December I will be running for the M3 Project. In support of friend Alan Dorrington, who had this silly idea and will be doing this too, I will, in total, run 256 miles. 1 mile on the first, 2 miles on the second… all the way to 16 miles on the 16th December, then 15, 14, 13 etc until the 31st December, when I will run the last mile. That means a week in mid December with 99 miles of running, and all on top of a busy day job.

There's a cause... Funding for supported accommodation for homeless young people aged 18-25 is being slashed in my home county of Lancashire in 2017 but there continues to be a real need for provision for this group. Whilst the local M3 Project are working hard to source funding to continue their supported lodgings and teenage family services, they need our help to keep these services going. My big #December256 run, along with Alan's and MTB endurance legend Jason Miles, will help to put the cause a bit higher up people's consciousness at this nasty time of year, as well as invite people to donate. I'm keeping a temporary blog here if you’d like to see updates of the actual runs -they will all be posted here. Thank you in advance if you can make your contribution. There are links at the top of that with further info and another one to donate.

Watch this space. By the time the final round of the North West Cyclocross league takes place on 27th December (the Macclesfield Supacross) I'll only have to run 5 miles that day and should be starting to enjoy the chance to get back to serious cyclocross training in time for the National Championships on the 7th January. Let's hope there's a lot of running on that course!

Dave Haygarth

24 November 2016

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